Dolphins around Broome and the West Kimberley are finally the subject of research, after decades of neglect. One was only recently recognized as a new species. Cygnet Bay at the top of King Sound, is leading the way, around a pioneer Pearl farm.
ALMOST everyone has a unique dolphin story to regale if they spend time on the coast of the Dampier Peninsula where inshore dolphins regularly cavort.
However until recently, there has been little scientific research to identify the species, numbers and biology of the inshore dolphins that inhabit the Kimberley coast. Moreover, are dolphin populations at risk from issues such water pollution and human impacts, particularly around the more populous Broome?
Fortunately change is afoot, with dolphins now under scientific scrutiny along the isolated coast. A catalyst for increased cetacean research has been the establishment of the Kimberley Marine Research Station (KMRS) on the tip of the Dampier Peninsula in 2010, by third generation pearler James Brown.
“A pearl farm is basically a marine research centre that focuses on one industry, all I did was open ours up to the science community,” he says.
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